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BY MICHAEL CHAIKEN | REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

When the movie Hocus Pocus came out in 1993, it was a bomb.

Disney, which produced it, lost $ 16.5 million on the Three Witches film, which starred Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy.

CONTRIBUTED
Fans have grown to love Hocus Pocus, a Halloween comedy starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, and Kathy Najimy.

Critics also saw it as a flop. The late film critic Roger Ebert said: “A good movie makes the audience unconsciously ask, give me more! The witches of it inspired my silent cry: Get me out of here!

However, the weather has been kind for the film about the three Sanderson sisters.With theaters still waiting for a new product during these COVID-19 filled days, Hocus Pocus, 27 years after its release, was the second most popular film in theaters this month. .

And as Halloween approached, images of the Sanders began to clog social media.

For those who think of Hocus Pocus only as the words spoken by a magician, IMDB describes the plot of director Kenny Ortega (High School Musical, The Descendants) as a curious youngster moves to Salem, where he struggles to find his way. integrate before waking up a trio. of evil witches executed in the 17th century.

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen him, said Joe Orlando of Waterbury, who considers himself one of the band’s fans. It’s well over 5000 and I can quote with the movie while watching it.

CONTRIBUTED
A scene from the movie “Hocus Pocus”.

I first came across Hocus Pocus when I was a kid, Orlando said. I loved witches and magic and Disney. My mom rented it for me and I was hooked.

My 16 and 13-year-old daughters love it as much as I do, said Allyson Modica of Middlebury, who added that she herself has watched the film at least six times a year for the past 27 years. They literally play a lot of scenes. We are literally saying all the lines as we watch the movie.

As a Bette Midler fan, West Haven’s Kelly Nowak was also one of Hocus Pocus’s early sidekicks. The film was must-see, Nowak said. I instantly fell in love.

The lightness and the slogans have made it a cult classic in our home, said Leah Davis of Springfield, Mass. I love the campy portrait of witches.

Michele Fischer-Paul from Berlin said: Growing up in New England, I first loved the way Hocus Pocus shows off the charm of Salem in the fall as well as the folklore the story is based on. The main characters are hilarious. Everyone has their own personality and plays on their strengths and weaknesses.

We can’t wait to finally get to Salem, Modica said, to visit all of the filming locations and piece together our favorite scenes. We will not dress up as witches, but we will be wearing shirts and sweatshirts that refer to the Sanderson sisters.

(Disney is never wrong) said Orlando, explaining why the movie is worth watching over and over. I find the film also interesting. For a children’s film, the plot and its humor are very dark and adult-oriented for the time.

Fischer-Paul said she has seen the film at least 100 times. She said she loved watching her childish simplicity (mixed with) comedic dark forces. It’s a classic Halloween movie for the ages.

Hocus Pocus isn’t just for Halloween in the Modica house.

We watch it pretty much whenever we feel like we need a pickup or just fancy Halloween, Modica said. We quote lines from them almost daily and simply incorporate them into our daily life.

Orlando took his love for all things Hocus Pocus and transferred it to his own entertainment franchise.

Drag artist Orlando will perform the fourth Hocus Pocus Live! like his alter ego, Summer Orlando. He will be joined by Barbara Joan Streetsand and Paige Machnicz in the film’s 45-minute recap. Hocus Pocus Live! will be played at 6 p.m. for a children’s version and at 8 p.m. for a 13+ version on Saturday, October 31 at Priam Vineyards in Colchester.

Tickets are only available in advance on PriamVineyeards.com.

Hocus Pocus, the film, is also screened at AMC Southington, AMC Plainville, Cinemark North Haven, Bank Street Theater in New Milford and AMC Danbury. Freeform also airs Hocus Pocus several times this month ahead of Halloween.

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